EPL: Tottenham v Stoke City Preview


Our EPL scribe previews the encounter between Tottenham and Stoke City. 

Spurs were really disappointing at Liverpool. Just when you think that Mauricio Pochettino's side - or any Spurs side for that matter - is on the cusp of something monumental, they deliver a performance that literally sucks the air out of everything they have tried to accomplish.

Stoke have managed to hustle their way to ninth place, which is rather impressive when you consider the start to their campaign and the litany of injuries they have had to endure. Mark Hughes will remember all too well how his side were summarily thrashed by Spurs at the Brittania earlier this season. He will need to be mindful of the threat Spurs pose in transition.

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English Premier League | Sunday 26 February 2017 | White Hart Lane | 15:30

To Win (90 Mins) 
Tottenham 4/10 | Draw 36/10 | Stoke City 6/1

Tottenham Hotspur
Depending on how their Europa League commitment goes this week, there could be a fairly sombre tone at White hart Lane this Sunday. They have picked up a favourable draw in the F.A Cup, however, and may in fact, benefit in the long run from European termination.

Spurs are in many ways the diametric opposite of Stoke City.  The Lilywhites have a clearly defined style of play, whereas Stoke have battled to find a consistent game-plan. Furthermore, Spurs have an extremely young squad while Stoke rolling out the likes of Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson. There almost appears to be a generational clash here, highlighted further by the figures of Pochettino and Hughes.

Kyle Walker and Ben Davies will look to bomb forward as liberally as possible. Johnson and Erik Pieters will be more defensively minded, inviting the Spurs full-backs to express themselves. New White Hart Lane darling Harry Winks will likely partner Victor Wanyama in the heart of midfield, freeing up Mousa Dembele to surge forward.

The midfield area looks like an area where this Spurs side could really gain the ascendancy. They will need Wanyama to retain his discipline, especially when they go forward. The fullbacks will need his cover, especially with Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic on the break.

Stoke City
It seems as if Shaqiri will pull through to be available this week. His pace will be essential in keeping Davies honest down that right-hand side. Phil Bardsley, Geoff Cameron and Jonathan Walters remain sidelined, which means that the unlikely resurrection of Peter Crouch will continue. I don’t know exactly how lanky Englishman got his groove back, but his goals have proved invaluable in their surge up the table.

Charlie Adam will look to set Arnautovic and Shaqiri free with that rapier-like passing ability, especially if Tottenham's fullbacks get too cocksure and completely abandon their posts. Joe Allen could prove crucial in this game. He tends to play at the back of Hughes’ diamond going forward, and will then take up places in and around the box.

If he’s clever, he could be able to take advantage of Wanyama’s occasional tendency to get caught up in wide areas. Generally, however, I don’t see any real area of supremacy for Stoke. Even their aerial threat is negated by the terrific aerial presence of Toby Alderweireld.

Verdict: Tottenham Win (4/10)
A comfortable home win for Spurs is expected. Tottenham are just superior to Stoke in all departments at present. Harry Kane is in excellent form and they have athletes all around the park.  

Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets.net!

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